Prescription Drug Information: Amiodarone Hydrochloride

AMIODARONE HYDROCHLORIDE- amiodarone hydrochloride tablet
Bryant Ranch Prepack

WARNING: PULMONARY, HEPATIC and CARDIAC TOXICITY

WARNING: PULMONARY, HEPATIC and CARDIAC TOXICITY

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets are intended for use only in patients with the indicated life-threatening arrhythmias because its use is accompanied by substantial toxicity [see Indications and Usage (1)].

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can cause pulmonary toxicity (hypersensitivity pneumonitis or interstitial/alveolar pneumonitis) that has resulted in clinically manifest disease at rates as high as 17% in some series of patients. Pulmonary toxicity has been fatal about 10% of the time. Obtain a baseline chest X-ray and pulmonary-function tests, including diffusion capacity, when amiodarone hydrochloride tablets therapy is initiated. Repeat history, physical exam, and chest X-ray every 3 to 6 months [see Warnings and Precautions 5.2)].

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can cause hepatoxicity, which can be fatal. Obtain baseline and periodic liver transaminases and discontinue or reduce dose if the increase exceeds three times normal, or doubles in a patient with an elevated baseline. Discontinue amiodarone hydrochloride tablets if the patient experiences signs or symptoms of clinical liver injury [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can exacerbate arrhythmias. Initiate amiodarone hydrochloride in a clinical setting where continuous electrocardiograms and cardiac resuscitation are available [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets are indicated for the treatment of documented, life-threatening recurrent ventricular fibrillation and life-threatening recurrent hemodynamically unstable tachycardia in adults who have not responded to adequate doses of other available antiarrhythmics or when alternative agents cannot be tolerated.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Dosage must be individualized based on severity of arrhythmia and response. Use the lowest effective dose. Obtain baseline chest x-ray, pulmonary function tests, thyroid function tests, and liver aminotransferases. Correct hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia before initiating treatment.

Recommended Dosage

Initiate treatment with a loading doses of 800 to 1600 mg/day until initial therapeutic response occurs (usually 1 to 3 weeks). Once adequate arrhythmia control is achieved, or if side effects become prominent, reduce amiodarone hydrochloride tablets dose to 600 to 800 mg/day for one month and then to the maintenance dose, usually 400 mg/day.

Administration

Administer amiodarone hydrochloride tablets consistently with regard to meals [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Administration of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets in divided doses with meals is suggested for total daily doses of 1000 mg or higher, or when gastrointestinal intolerance occurs.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Amiodarone Hydrochloride Tablets USP, 200 mg are white to off-white, round-shaped, flat beveled-edge, uncoated tablets with bisect on one side and other side is plain; one side of bisect is debossed with ‘ZE’ and other side is debossed with ’65′ meant for oral administration.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Cardiogenic shock.
  • Sick sinus syndrome, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block, bradycardia leading to syncope without a functioning pacemaker.
  • Known hypersensitivity to the drug or to any of its components, including iodine.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Persistence of Adverse Effects

Because of the long half-life of amiodarone (15 to 142 days) and its active metabolite desethylamiodarone (14 to 75 days), adverse reactions and drug interactions can persist for several weeks following amiodarone discontinuation [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5.2 Pulmonary Toxicity

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets may cause a clinical syndrome of cough and progressive dyspnea accompanied by functional, radiographic, gallium-scan, and pathological data consistent with pulmonary toxicity. Pulmonary toxicity secondary to amiodarone hydrochloride tablets may result from either indirect or direct toxicity as represented by hypersensitivity pneumonitis (including eosinophilic pneumonia) or interstitial/alveolar pneumonitis, respectively. Rates of pulmonary toxicity have been reported to be as high as 17% and is fatal in about 10% of cases. Obtain a baseline chest X-ray and pulmonary-function tests, including diffusion capacity, when amiodarone hydrochloride tablets therapy is initiated. Repeat history, physical exam, and chest X-ray every 3 to 6 months or if symptoms occur. Consider alternative antiarrhythmic therapy if the patient experiences signs or symptoms of pulmonary toxicity. Prednisone 40 to 60 mg/day tapered over several weeks may be helpful in treating pulmonary toxicity.

Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Postoperatively, occurrences of ARDS have been reported in patients receiving amiodarone hydrochloride tablets therapy who have undergone either cardiac or noncardiac surgery. Although patients usually respond well to vigorous respiratory therapy, in rare instances the outcome has been fatal.

5.3 Hepatic Injury

Asymptomatic elevations of hepatic enzyme levels are seen frequently, but amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can cause life-threatening hepatic injury. Histology has resembled that of alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis. Obtain baseline and periodic liver transaminases. If transaminases exceed three times normal, or doubles in a patient with an elevated baseline, discontinue or reduce dose of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets, obtain follow-up tests and treat appropriately.

5.4 Worsened Arrhythmia

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can exacerbate the presenting arrhythmia in about 2 to 5% of patients or cause new ventricular fibrillation, incessant ventricular tachycardia, increased resistance to cardioversion, and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia associated with QTc prolongation (Torsade de Pointes [TdP]).

Correct hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia before initiating treatment with amiodarone hydrochloride tablets, as these disorders can exaggerate the degree of QTc prolongation and increase the potential for TdP. Give special attention to electrolyte and acid-base balance in patients experiencing severe or prolonged diarrhea or receiving drugs affecting electrolyte levels, such as diuretics, laxatives, systemic corticosteroids, or amphotericin B.

5.5 Visual Impairment and Loss of Vision

Optic Neuropathy and Optic Neuritis

Cases of optic neuropathy and optic neuritis, usually resulting in visual impairment and sometimes permanent blindness, have been reported in patients treated with amiodarone and may occur at any time during therapy. If symptoms of visual impairment appear, such as changes in visual acuity and decreases in peripheral vision, consider discontinuing amiodarone hydrochloride tablets and promptly refer for ophthalmic examination. Regular ophthalmic examination, including funduscopy and slit-lamp examination, is recommended during administration of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Corneal Microdeposits

Corneal microdeposits appear in the majority of adults treated with amiodarone hydrochloride tablets. They are usually discernible only by slit-lamp examination, but give rise to symptoms such as visual halos or blurred vision in as many as 10% of patients. Corneal microdeposits are reversible upon reduction of dose or termination of treatment. Asymptomatic microdeposits alone are not a reason to reduce dose or discontinue treatment [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.6 Thyroid Abnormalities

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablet inhibits peripheral conversion of thyroxine (T4 ) to triiodothyronine (T3 ) and may cause increased thyroxine levels, decreased T3 levels, and increased levels of inactive reverse T3 (rT3 ) in clinically euthyroid patients. Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets can cause either hypothyroidism (reported in up to 10% of patients) or hyperthyroidism (occurring in about 2% of patients). Monitor thyroid function prior to treatment and periodically thereafter, particularly in elderly patients, and in any patient with a history of thyroid nodules, goiter, or other thyroid dysfunction.

Hyperthyroidism may induce arrhythmia breakthrough. If any new signs of arrhythmia appear, the possibility of hyperthyroidism should be considered. Antithyroid drugs, β-adrenergic blockers, temporary corticosteroid therapy may be necessary to treat the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The action of antithyroid drugs may be delayed in amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis because of substantial quantities of preformed thyroid hormones stored in the gland. Radioactive iodine therapy is contraindicated because of the low radioiodine uptake associated with amiodarone-induced hyperthyroidism. Amiodarone hydrochloride tablet-induced hyperthyroidism may be followed by a transient period of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyrodism may be primary or subsequent to resolution of preceding amiodarone-induced hyperthyroidism. Severe hypothyroidism and myxedema coma, sometimes fatal, have been reported in association with amiodarone therapy. In some clinically hypothyroid amiodarone-treated patients, free thyroxine index values may be normal. Manage hypothyroidism by reducing the dose of or discontinuing amiodarone hydrochloride tablets and thyroid hormone supplementation.

5.7 Bradycardia

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablet causes symptomatic bradycardia or sinus arrest with suppression of escape foci in 2 to 4% of patients. The risk is increased by electrolytic disorders or use of concomitant antiarrhythmics or negative chronotropes [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Bradycardia may require a pacemaker for rate control.

Postmarketing cases of symptomatic bradycardia, some requiring pacemaker insertion and at least one fatal, have been reported when ledipasvir/sofosbuvir or sofosbuvir with simeprevir were initiated in patients on amiodarone. Bradycardia generally occurred within hours to days, but in some cases presented up to 2 weeks after initiating antiviral treatment. Bradycardia generally resolved after discontinuation of antiviral treatment. The mechanism for this effect is unknown. Monitor heart rate in patients taking or recently discontinuing amiodarone when starting antiviral treatment [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.8 Implantable Cardiac Devices

In patients with implanted defibrillators or pacemakers, chronic administration of antiarrhythmic drugs may affect pacing or defibrillation thresholds. Therefore, at the inception of and during amiodarone treatment, pacing and defibrillation thresholds should be assessed.

5.9 Fetal Toxicity

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Fetal exposure may increase the potential for cardiac, thyroid, neurodevelopmental, neurological, and growth effects in neonate [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.10 Peripheral Neuropathy

Chronic administration of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets may lead to peripheral neuropathy, which may not resolve when amiodarone hydrochloride tablet is discontinued.

5.11 Photosensitivity and Skin Discoloration

Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets induces photosensitization in about 10% of patients; some protection may be afforded sun-barrier creams or protective clothing. During long-term treatment, a blue-gray discoloration of the exposed skin may occur. The risk may be increased in patients of fair complexion or those with excessive sun exposure. Some reversal of discoloration may occur upon drug discontinuation.

5.12 Surgery

Volatile Anesthetic Agents

Patients on amiodarone hydrochloride tablet therapy may be more sensitive to the myocardial depressant and conduction effects of halogenated inhalational anesthetics.

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